Srinagar: Kashmir Valley remained shut Tuesday for the 25th consecutive day with millions without work, children without schools and sick without medicare.
Thousands still defied curfew and restrictions in length and breadth of the Valley and held demonstrations demanding freedom.
A huge procession was taken out by people in Pattan area of North Kashmir in which, according to eyewitnesses, over 30,000 people participated.
Small processions from various surrounding villages converged at Singhpora Pattan and later on moved in a massive procession on Srinagar-Baramulla road. Amid pro-freedom slogans protesters demanded immediate halt to state atrocities.The protest was jointly organized by both Shia and Sunni communities, reports said.
Pro-Azadi processions were taken out in Naninara Sumbal, Tengpora and other parts of Sonawari town in Bandipore district.
Eyewitnesses said that clashes broke out between protesters and Govt forces Bandipore district on Tuesday afternoon.
Eyewitnesses said that forces intercepted a protest rally near Madar village which was heading towards Bandipore town from Arin and Sumlar areas of the district.
Forces used teargas shells to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes. The clashes according to witnesses continued for hours.
Overnight protests were reported from Kulgam and Shopian districts in South Kashmir.
Reports from Kulgam district said that thousands of people assembled at Tungdana area to protest against the latest civilian killings at the hands of government forces. Local sources said that the march led by elders of the town remained peaceful. Participants chanted pro-freedom slogans and passed through scores of villages before dispersing peacefully.
Eyewitnesses said that at least two armed militants addressed a rally near Koimouh petrol pump asking people to remain steadfast.
In Kanilwan Bijbehara massive protest was staged against the alleged atrocities of armed forces. They alleged that armed forces not only misbehaved with women but also thrashed people without any reason. Peaceful protest rallies were also taken out in Srigufwara and other parts of the district.
Thousands of people later held a road rally.
People, on bikes, cars, load carriers and even disabled on the customized scooters were marching. The march passed through Kanelwan and villages of Dochenipora area.
Youth, who were the main mobilizers of these rallies, had their faces covered. Some of them had written slogans on the scarves covering their faces.
An Itihaad-e-Milat Conference was organized at Jablipora Anantnag that was attended by people in large numbers. The speakers urged upon the people to follow the Hurriyat program in letter and spirit and play a key role in taking the ongoing struggle to its logical conclusion.
Hurriyat leader Ghulam Nabi Sumji, termed the current agitation as different and long lasting.
This moment is different and the youth are up to shape their future, they are fed up with the atrocities being committed by the India, Sumji Said. There is only one cause that is aazadi, and we will not bow till we achieve the goal.
At least 9 people were injured during protests when people tried to march towards Imam Sahib area in Shopian district. Reports said that people from Arkhara, Hillow and Kadgam areas tried to march towards Imam Sahib Village however they were stopped by paramilitary forces triggering clashes. Witnesses said that at least nine people were wounded most of them receiving pellet injuries.
Peaceful protests mostly organized by women were reported from different places of North, Central and South Kashmir.
During morning hours around hundred women assembled in Panth Chowk area and held a protest against the recent killings. The protesters were carrying banners, flags and placards seeking freedom for Kashmir.
Protests and clashes were reported from many parts of capital city as well.
Reports said that the residents of Batamaloo Srinagar staged a massive protest against the nocturnal raids by the police in the area.
Residents hit the roads and amid pro-freedom slogans pelted stones on the police deployment.
An all-women protest rally was carried out in Hazratbal area Srinagar city as well.
The protest rally began from Kashmir University’s Maulana Rumi Gate. The rally headed towards the revered Hazratbal shrine and amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans and ended peacefully.
The Hurriyat leadership had urged upon women to assemble in their respective localities and stage pro-freedom protests on Tuesday.
Despite clashes at some places on Monday, some activities of life were noticed in parts of Srinagar city as private vehicles and pedestrian movement was seen almost after three weeks. But on Tuesday curfew like situation was reported from city areas like Batamaloo. Train services, public transport and markets besides educational institutions and government offices remained shut.
After Gurez, Kargil protests reach Tanghdar
Ongoing protests have now reached to border area of Tanghdar.
According to reports, Minister for Rural Development Department (RDD) had to face angry protest in border town of Tanghdar, when the locals protested and pelted stones at the cavalcade of the Minister. The security forces swung into action to disperse the youth.
Earlier, people of the hitherto peaceful areas of Gurez and Kargil took to streets and shouted pro-Kashmir slogans.
Army Major ‘Joins Azadi Chorus’
A group of soldiers from the Indian Armys Rashtriya Rifles descended on a local mosque in Vessu, Anantnag at 5:30 PM after the afternoon Asr prayers and demanded the whereabouts of the local Auqaf committee president.
Much to their bewilderment, the men in uniform were soon surrounded by the villagers unnerving them.
The loudspeakers were airing pro-freedom numbers attracting a large gathering. An army major and his men were surrounded by the local youths, preventing their escape, witnesses said.
Call it wit or sense of fear, the army officer shouted on the top of his lungs: Hum Kya Chaahte Azadi…… Nara-i-Takbeer, Allah-u-Akbar
The youth then lifted the major on their shoulders and asked him to shout the slogans once again. When he did so, all the people and the soldiers who had come with him joined the chorus. The activity continued for about twenty minutes, witnesses said.
Several people filmed the scenes on their mobile phones, the witnesses said.
The major and his men were let go after a warning that they would be dealt with strongly if they appeared again to threaten the people.
Later, Superintendent of Police of Anantnag came to the village and interrogated the people about who had gathered on the Highway.
But again the angry youths asked the police officer to leave immediately or the situation would turn ugly. The police officer and his men left without any delay, witnesses said.
Army spokesperson, Col NN Joshi, when contacted did not confirm the incident.
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